Is It Safe to Use Polyaluminium Chloride?

Polyaluminium Chloride (PAC) has become a staple in water treatment processes, contributing significantly to the purification of drinking water. The effectiveness of PAC in removing impurities from water raises a crucial question: Is it safe to use Polyaluminium Chloride? In this article, we will explore the application of PAC in ensuring the safety of drinking water, examining regulatory guidelines and standards governing its use, and addressing concerns regarding its potential hazards.

Is It Safe to Use Polyaluminium Chloride?

The answer to this queations is “yes” as long as you use it properly.

Polyaluminum chlorides have been extensively employed worldwide for over two decades in municipal water treatment processes. While the American Water Works Association conducted studies on these substances years ago, recent assessments on their safety are lacking, largely due to their widespread and continued use. The safety of using Polyaluminium Chloride is best determined by analyzing the water post-treatment.

The American Water Works Association’s previous studies indicate that Polyaluminium Chloride has been widely embraced by numerous municipalities for an extended period. To ascertain water safety, it is crucial to evaluate specific criteria such as Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Aluminum levels, heavy metals concentration, and turbidity. These parameters serve as benchmarks for assessing water quality and safety. We will talk about the safety of using polyaluminum chloride from these perspectives.

Why Using Polyaluminium Chloride Is Safe?

1. Efficient Impurity Removal

Polyaluminium chlorides have a unique capability to form an Al13 polymer, enhancing their efficiency in removing impurities from water. The attachment of PAC to impurities facilitates their subsequent filtration, ensuring the production of clean and safe drinking water.

2. Controlled Chemistry Changes

Unlike some other water treatment methods, the chemistry changes introduced by Polyaluminium Chloride are controlled. By forming specific aluminum hydroxide polymers, PAC contributes to the removal of impurities without introducing undesirable alterations to the water composition.

3. Comparative Analysis with Alum

When compared to traditional water treatment methods like alum, Polyaluminium Chloride offers advantages. Waters treated with PAC tend to exhibit lower levels of aluminum and turbidity, which is essential for maintaining water quality standards.

4. Consideration of Chloride Impact

While PAC-treated waters may contain higher chloride levels, the impact is generally considered minimal, especially when factoring in the natural variation in the salinity of drinking water. This ensures that additional chloride does not pose a significant risk to human health.

The safety of using Polyaluminium Chloride depends on a comprehensive analysis of water quality after treatment. The efficiency of PAC in removing impurities, its controlled chemistry changes, and favorable comparisons with traditional methods contribute to its safety profile. Ongoing research and assessments are essential to address emerging concerns and maintain the highest standards of water safety.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Polyaluminium Chloride (PAC) Safely

Now that we know that polyaluminum chloride is safe when used correctly, how do we use it correctly?

Step1: Assessing Potential Hazards

Before incorporating PAC into water treatment processes, a thorough assessment of potential hazards is essential. Understanding the properties and reactivity of PAC allows for proper risk evaluation and the implementation of necessary safety measures.

Polyaluminum Chloride exhibits mild corrosiveness. Ingestion may result in irritation to the mouth and stomach, while skin exposure can lead to itching and skin irritation. Contact with the eyes may cause irritation, redness, and watering.

Step2: Safety Protocols in Industrial Settings

In industrial settings, where PAC is commonly utilized, stringent safety protocols must be established and followed. This includes the use of personal protective equipment, proper ventilation, and adherence to recommended concentrations to prevent unintended health risks.

Storing Polyaluminum Chloride:

Polyaluminum Chloride (PAC) should be stored in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated environment, away from incompatible substances. Ensure the packaging is secure and labeled, preventing moisture absorption and maintaining product integrity.

Dosage Requirements:

Determining PAC dosage involves analyzing water quality, adhering to regulatory guidelines, and conducting pilot tests for optimal application. Regular monitoring and adjustments, along with professional consultation, contribute to the effective and safe use of PAC in water treatment.

Step3: Proper training of PAC handling personnel

Ensuring that personnel handling PAC are well-trained is critical. Proper training includes understanding the chemical properties of PAC, safe handling procedures, and emergency response protocols. Well-informed personnel contribute significantly to minimizing the risks associated with PAC usage.

Step4: Emergency Response and Contingency Planning

Despite precautionary measures, emergencies can occur. Establishing comprehensive emergency response and contingency plans ensures a swift and effective reaction to any unforeseen situations, minimizing the impact of potential hazards.


In conclusion, the use of Polyaluminium Chloride (PAC) in water treatment is generally safe for ensuring the quality of drinking water. By adhering to regulatory guidelines, implementing safety measures, and providing proper training to handling personnel, the potential risks associated with PAC can be effectively managed. As with any chemical substance, responsible and informed use is crucial to maximizing the benefits of PAC while safeguarding public health and the environment.

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